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How to Piss Off a French Canadian

by Morgane Croissant May 20, 2014
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Shorten it to “French.”

Not only will this gravely irritate your French Canadian, but it will piss off actual French people, the ones from France. Are Brazilians Portuguese? Are Ecuadorians Spanish? No, so, stop it!

Say, “It’s not real French.”

As a French person living in English-speaking Canada, I have taken part in the following conversation many times:

    1. “Are you from Québec?”

“No, I am from France.”

“You speak real French then. You’re the real deal, not like those Québecois.”

I don’t even know how French Canadians tolerate that crap all the time. English speakers seem to believe that only people from France speak proper French, the “real French.” Well, I have some news for you: The French language that French Canadians speak IS REAL FRENCH, just like the language Americans speak IS REAL ENGLISH! There are aspects of their language that are different from European French because it has been evolving separately for the past few centuries; still, it is French, real French.

Talk shit about the food.

“The best poutine I ever had was in Vancouver.”

You’re looking for serious trouble here. Nowhere outside of Quebec can one find good cheese curds (the ones that make a squeaky noise when you chew them) and St. Hubert Poutine mix. Nowhere, I said. What other elements of French Canadian culture are you trying to destroy? Are you also going to tell me the best maple syrup you ever had was in Maine? Just get out of my sight!

Mock the accent.

I must admit I love the thick French Canadian accent, and not unlike the British accent for non-British people, one seems to pick it up without paying attention, making a fool of oneself (yes, I’ve been there). Those who mock the lovely French Canadian accent still haven’t realized that, from a French Canadian point of view, they may sound like they have a pretty nasty speech impediment too. Accents are nothing but a matter of perspective.

Mention high taxes.

The two official languages of Canada seem to be responsible for everything finance-related in the country. Not only do these damned French speakers need to have every single government document translated, but border agents, Air Canada flight attendants, and Service Canada employees need to be trained to speak English AND French. What a waste of taxpayers’ money!

Who cares about the cultural advantages of having two official languages? If only these fake separatists learnt English and let the country save some money, that would be great.

Make fun of Céline Dion.

Don’t you dare make fun of Céline Dion! She has a wonderful voice and is a humble French Canadian woman. Who’s next, Roch Voisine? Arcade Fire? You should be ashamed of yourself!

Trash talk the socialist spirit.

When a tuition-fee hike was announced in Quebec in 2012, the people of the province didn’t just accept their fate, they fought relentlessly. The students protested for weeks on end. In the rest of Canada, people were calling these politically involved youths “privileged brats,” when really, they were just jealous. Nobody should accept such financially crippling initiatives, and if you do, you can only blame yourself for it.

Explain how much you love winter in Quebec.

You obviously haven’t lived here for very long. The below-zero weather gets old after two years; the heavy boots are kind of fun at first, but after six months of wearing them, you think they’d make good kindling; and the 30cm of snow we get in mid-April isn’t as charming as one may think. Winter wonderland, my eye! It’s more like godawfulweatherland!

Use Google Translate.

If you’re a business owner selling your merchandise in Canada, you have to have your products’ labels translated in both official languages; however, some people never bother to translate their products’ packages…simply because they can’t be bothered. Others are even more ill-intentioned and try to enrage all French Canadians (and most translators living in this country) by coming up with a poor and senseless Google translation. If your travel mug read like this, you’d be pissed off (and slightly amused) too:

Call the youth stinky hippies.

I have never met such adventurous young people as the French Canadians. These guys know how to travel and enjoy themselves. In British Columbia, there are countless young French Canadians doing odd jobs (often fruit picking, a well-known “hippy” activity) that gives them some pretty awesome laid-back exploration time in the West. Some may smell, but you would too if you’d hitchhiked from Montreal all the way to Vancouver and spent the past two months sleeping in a tent in the wilderness.

Let’s just be nice and let these kids have some fun.

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